A new ad policy from Facebook brings with it some interesting changes for the digital currency community.

According to an official Facebook post written by Product Management Director, Rob Leathern, Facebook will now ban ads that promote financial products and services ‘frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.’

Here, Facebook outlines binary options, initial coin offerings, and digital currencies as three areas that can no longer be advertised on the Facebook ads network.

We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception,” said Leathern, in a January 30th, 2018, post on Facebook Business. “That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith.”

Facebook pushing back against malicious actors

Since digital currencies are largely unregulated, the term applies to a wide variety of different cases. With malicious actors looking to capitalize on the popularity of digital currencies in order to turn a quick profit and defraud investors, the reputation of the industry is often under attack.

As an example, BitConnect recently shut down a large portion of its exchange services amidst claims that the operation is a Ponzi scheme. In BitConnect’s heyday, large portions of the internet were cluttered with advertisements for BitConnect, both from its official operators and from individuals looking to cash in on its referral scheme.

In a class action suit filed against BitConnect, lawyers representing defrauded investors also filed claims that target parties allegedly guilty of promoting BitConnect.

It is unclear if Facebook’s new policy is an attempt to distance themselves from any potential liability in the future. In their post, Facebook included a list of the type of ads it’s hoping to eliminate via the new policy:

  • “Click here to learn more about our no-risk cryptocurrency that enables instant payments to anyone in the world.”
  • “New ICO! Buy tokens at a 15% discount NOW!”
  • “Use your retirement funds to buy Bitcoin!”

‘Intentionally broad’

There is currently no indication that Facebook’s new policy will permanently prevent all ads regarding digital currencies. Instead, the team admits that the policy is broad in an attempt to stop fraudulent ads at the source.

“This policy is intentionally broad while we work to better detect deceptive and misleading advertising practices, and enforcement will begin to ramp up across our platforms including Facebook, Audience Network and Instagram,” they said. “We will revisit this policy and how we enforce it as our signals improve.”

Facebook encourages users to report ads that violate these new guidelines. Its hope is to make it more difficult for scammers to take advantage of Facebook users.

 

Image credit: Facebook

 

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